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Information on Martha's Vineyard Towns

Martha's Vineyard consists of six towns, Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, West Tisbury, Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. Each town has its own resources and points of interest.

  • Edgartown
    One of New England's most elegant communities, Edgartown was the Island's first colonial settlement and it has been the county seat since 1642. The stately white Greek Revival houses built by the whaling captains have been carefully maintained. They make the town a museum-piece community, a seaport village preserved from the early 19th century.

  • Oak Bluffs
    The Town of Oak Bluffs is a resort town on the northeast shore of the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Originally settled in 1642, and incorporated in 1880 as Cottage City, in 1907 the town's name was changed because of the growth in the year round population and the changing face of the resort required an acknowledgement the town was not just "Cottage City" any more.

  • Tisbury ( AKA ) Vineyard Haven
    Tisbury or what we know as the town of Vineyard Haven was originally known as Homes Hole, and then Holmes Hole. By 1850, the village of Holmes Hole had become a thriving community, partly due to the harbor's marine railways which were capable of hauling large vessels, a sail-loft, ship-chandleries, and two boat-yards on Lagoon pond. In 1892, the old settlement of Tisbury was divided into two towns by an act of legislature. Thus came into being the villages of Tisbury and West Tisbury.

  • West Tisbury
    West Tisbury covers 34 square miles and has a year-round population of 2612. As a popular vacation destination that number grows to several times that in the summer. The first recorded settlement was in 1669 and incorporated as a town on April 28, 1892. We are home to many acres of State Forest, scenic beaches, rich farm land and have many historical structures still in use today. We continue to retain much of the rural atmosphere and neighborly sense of community that made us notable.

  • Chilmark
    The Town of Chilmark is a small rural community located toward the western end of the island of Martha's Vineyard. Most of its 10,639 acres are devoted to residential and agricultural use. The center of town houses a small elementary schoolhouse, originally a one-room school built circa 1850 and still in use for younger grades, a public library, originally a house built in 1790, a town hall built circa 1897, and a handsome church built in 1843. These buildings have all had additions during recent years.

  • Aquinnah
    The most outstanding natural feature of Gay Head is the magnificent display of varicolored clay cliffs in strange formations which spill down to the sea on the border of the town. These cliffs marked the homeward leg of Gay Head's Indian and Yankee fishermen and whalers. The European settlers learned from their Indian neighbors the skills needed for coast-wise whaling and Gay Headers maintained a shore fishing fleet. From the early 17th century to the last day an American whaler sailed, Gay Head Indians and Yankees were prominent in whaling. Although much of their fishing and whaling was done in small boats close to shore, Gay Headers also sailed with whalers of the Nantucket and New Bedford fleets. The Gay Head cliffs have also been a source of clay for pottery and of myriads of fossils which show the variety of animal and marine life in earlier ages of the island.


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